My guest booked my place for 4 people for 10 days, but he had a fifth person there he never mentioned and whom I found out about because I arrived as they were leaving and saw they were five. Since I don't spy on my guests, I didn't know there was a fifth, undeclared guest. I asked the doorman who confirmed that guest had been there all the time. So I asked the guest to pay the extra guest fee. My rule is clear: any additional guest pays €10 per day. The guest refused saying the unauthorized guest was there for only 3 days. I pointed out that (1) I have no means to verify how long they were there and anyway the booking was for 10 days and (2) my minimum-stay rule is 5 days, so just paying 3 days is unacceptable.
Well, I was shocked to my marrow when I went through the Resolution Center and Airbnb said they couldn't force the guest to pay for the unauthorized guest, even though the guest had admitted they had an unauthorized guest. Can't you take the money from the security deposit? I asked. No, said Airbnb, that's only for damages, so yes, we can tell that there was an aunauthorized guest, a violation of your rules but if the guest doesn't want to pay, we can't force them.
In other words, Airbnb encourages guests to cheat because no matter what they won't be forced to pay. So, why would a guest bother to be honest? They can cheat knowing that Airbnb, who claims to be a trustworthy and compliant-oriented platform, will do NOTHING.
I feel disgusted about the whole episode, but there is a silver lining to this cloud: a host is sometimes a guest, so now you know what you can do: bring unauthorized guests and if the host complain just show them the Airbnb policy: full impunity for cheating guests.
@Ahmed94, that must be very frustrating for you!
When you communicated with the guest who admitted to the extra person, was that on the AirBnB messaging system or some other way (talking in person, on phone, etc.)?
I know it helps to have the admission on the messaging system; maybe the AirBnB person was less willing to enforce the extra payment because the guest would not admit it where AirBnB could see?
But you are correct: AirBnB does not come down hard on guests who cheat the system; they leave that task to the unfortunate hosts (who also have to bear the cost).
Maybe in the future are you able to ask the doorman to help with this? Can you tell the doorman how many guests are expected so the doorman can enforce the correct guest count?
I have also experienced people cheating on numerous bookings bringing in extra guests. In one instance Airbnb forced them to pay extra - however when they left they gave us a very poor review (no kidding!)... we are a Super Host... and this is the only poor review we have ever received. Airbnb will not remove it!
I am currently struggling to find out what happens if someone books a specific number then hosts a massive party in our property - one of our listings is in a remove beach location in New Zealand. We have CCTV so we know what is going on. But imagine if a group has travelled 5 hours from the nearest city ... and we tell them they are not allowed to bring all these people. I have told Airbnb I will call the police and report a break and entry .... I have been told not to do that.
@ Matthew: Even more shocking is that the guest admitted to Airbnb having that unauthorized person. Since he was caught rend handed and I have the evidence he couldn't possibly deny it. Still, Airbnb says it won't do anything about it I can only get refunded whatever the guest decides to pay me.
Yes, you read this correctly: Airbnb gives guests the power to decide who comes to a host's property, for how long and how much, if anything, the guest will pay the host. I, the host, have no say in te matter. Not even in Communist Russia did I see such a denial of property rights. Host property rights are being trampled on with Airbnb's acquiescence. But, as I said, it's a lesson learnd: when I travel, as a guest, I will do exactly the same. I can't be losing on all fronts, can I?
In the meantime, disgusted hosts can send a feedback to Airbnb requesting that rule violation fees be allowed to be deducted from the security deposit
I recently have had a few incidence like this where guests booked for less number and smuggled in more friends. We live next to the room we rented out so we caught these people (from a certain nationality sadly) but I agee that AirB&B does NOTHING to prohibit this behaviour. I find it equally disgusting that AirB&B can treat Home Owner so badly! We MUST raise this as a major issue and demand changes from AirB&B. It should be a fair and equal and balanced responsibility from both guests and hosts. AirB&B is earing from both ends; of course AirB&B earns far more from guests than hosts but that should not be a reason for AirB&B to side with the guests.
Are you listening? AirB&B Team?
That’s horrible and happens to me more a few times.
I have used all kind of tricks from the hat to make them pay or kick them out, what Airbnb told me once, they can not advice you on calling the police or not. If the guests doesn’t want to pay we can’t force them pay. They need to do better to protect us from professional scammers and thieves.
It seems we have three options::
-to install security cameras , smart locks and spy on guests
- to charge for max number of guests we can accomodate
- or just take it as it is.
For now we have just 10 € fee for every extra guest above 2 and if our guests prefer to use their own towels , sheets and bedding to save 10€ per day then they are really cheap.
But I am thinking about rising my base price to 3 or 4 guests at least during the high season. We will see.
Yes, I have cameras at the entry door and can watch them come in for the first time and I get an alert every time they use the door code in case I want to check later!
Im respectfully must disagree with you that air bnb allows people to cheat/encourages people to cheat on the amount of guests allowed.
YOU as the host must take full responsibility by providing an extremely crystal clear description of your accommodation.
I got stung last year by my Chinese guests who from 2 people morphed into 5 people!
My listing now clearly states MAXIMUM 2 adults only in king-size bedroom.
MAXIMUM of 2 adults only in the double bedroom.
MAXIMUM of 4 adults and NO GUESTS, infants or children, allowed at any one time in our family home.
You my friend must really tighten up your description and your house rules to prevent this cheating by cheapskate guests.
Further more May I respectfully suggest that your photos which people tend to look at first after price, has a clear sentence stating Bedroom 1 MAXIMUM 2 adults and so on.
One of your photos should be of the entire outside frontage of your property which clearly states MAXIMUM number of adults ( no friends or guests) is xyz number of adults.
For my bedroom the price is set at the maximum price of £65 for 2 adults, and It is still £65 for a single adult.
If you are in the market place at the low cheap end of the market these are the cheapskate guests you will attract with their cheapskate values.
Im afraid the responsibility lies with you as the host to be fully accountable for your property!
Thank you for posting this. I recently had this experience as well (4 guests booked / 22 guests stayed). I thought I had been responsible in my pricing and posting within my house rules and house manual to avoid this from happening but unfortunately it still does from time to time.
The first time this happened, the guest resolved the matter quickly and paid the difference without involving AirBNB. The latest incident, 4 guests booked/22 stayed, I too was disappointed in how AirBNB resolved the matter with the guest. So frustrated, in fact, that after consulting with an attorney, I accepted the tiny amount offered by the guest in the resolution as a partial settlement and I'm suing the guest for the remainder. Because of the amount of evidence I have (photographs of the 22 guests from my RING doorbell camera and multiple written admissions from the guest during the resolution process) I'm now seeking the full amount (at the time of booking she would have paid an additional $850 now she is paying the nonreport fee of $3400) plus court and attorney's fees. If the guest doesn't respond to the complaint in 21 days, I can then receive a default judgement and attach a lean to her property and garnish her wages. It requires a lot of time and energy on my end, which I don't mind expending because of the guest's flippant and snotty response (she essentially dared me to try and do something about it).
I went one step further and filed a complaint with AirBNB, describing my situation and why I was unhappy with the resolution. I know my one complaint won't change their policy but if enough of us complain, perhaps eventually they'll listen as without us their business model fails.
This all requires a lot of work so I don't do this with every offender. Most people are apologetic and quick to resolve any issues, this approach is one I reserve for my most egregious guests.
Your place is listed as accommodating 16 guests. If I had a listing like that, I would take it as a huge red flag if someone booked for 4.
If guests are looking for a place that accommodates 4, they would filter for that number of guests. What these partiers are doing is looking at listings that are large, so they can throw a party, but then claiming there are 4 guests. If I were you, much smaller groups than what I could accommodate would set off my spidey sense.
@Sarah977 - Our home is listed to accommodate 16 guests and I am diligent to check the RING footage when guests check in/out, especially when guests set off my spidey sense (as this particular guest did). We haven't had any problems with guests having parties at our home, it is primarily large families who want to stay in a home but pay what they feel is reasonable rather than the listed price.
Well, regardless if there's been a party issue, I would still consider someone booking a place for 4, that accommodates 16, to be a red flag. I would question the guest count when they book and advise guests who book for such small numbers of guests that anyone not accounted for on the reservation will not be admitted to the property, and that arriving with more guests than booked for could result in the booking being cancelled, rather than wait until they show up and try to then get them to pay up.